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Business News Thu, 6 Sep 2007

Tema State Warehouse not on the GCnet

Accra, Sept 6, GNA - The Tema State Warehouse at the Tema Port is not yet connected to the Ghana Community Network (GCnet), a computerized monitoring mechanism for customs goods, despite its introduction five years ago.

Paper transactions continue to take place and the absence of typewriters for a long time added to the operational problems of officers at the State Warehouse, Mr William Kwaku Apeadu, Chief Collector of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), said in Accra on Tuesday.

Testifying before the Justice Samuel Glenn Baddoo Committee that is investigating operational irregularities at the CEPS, Mr Apeadu said the Uncleared Cargo List was also not connected to the GCnet. He said 21 days after a vessel had discharged, the shipping line should supply his office of all Uncleared Cargo List (UCL) but this was not done regularly.

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Also, the list sometimes came without the marks of the containers making it difficult to locate the container and to put it on a form called Form 208, and thereafter value the contents of a container. Mr Apeadu said State Warehouse officials were not in charge of containers but rather security agents of the various shipping lines and that apart from the African Coastal Services and the Tema Container Terminal that had tight security others did not.

He said pilfering from containers at the port had often come from outside and that no pilfering of containers had ever come to his notice for six months he had supervised the activities of the officers who prepared goods for auction. Mr Apeadu said it was not possible for CEPS officials to change seals of containers after their examination because seal numbers were recorded.

Mr Emmanuel Darko, an official of the GCnet, said the number of warehouses shot up from 12 to 80 last year and suggested that it should be made mandatory for all warehouses to get connected to the GCnet. Mr Darko, who had earlier given evidence on ways of improving the service, underscored the need to strengthen monitoring operations to arrest malfeasance, negative human factors and revenue leakages.

Source: GNA
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